21 July 2005 | Rebecca Ellinor
Procurement is to play a key part in boosting the use of information and communications technology among West Midlands organisations.
The plan, Digital Advantage, has been devised by the regional development agency Advantage West Midlands.
Its proposals include a regional procurement forum involving public and private-sector bodies and encouraging links to other purchasing groups.
The procurement plan also focuses on providing support for small and medium-sized enterprises, which AWM fears are in danger of missing out on public-sector contracts because of poor e-procurement capability.
Adrian Middleton, ICT strategy manager at Advantage West Midlands, said: "We're looking at joining up public-sector partners and bringing closer engagement with the private sector."
The plan's consultation period is open until mid-September, and the results will be implemented next year.
Those who wish to contribute to the consultation should visit www.advantagewm.co.uk